Dorothy ran, unwilling to look back.
She had never seen her father’s face like that. His forehead crumpled, his eyes narrowed, and his nose blazed as he bared down on her. He was fast, too, so fast it did not look natural.
“Papa, Papa, stop! Why are you trying to kill me? What did I do wrong?” Dorothy said over her shoulder, hoping her father would hear.
If he did, he showed no sign of it. Dorothy swerved left into a street she remembered and turned to see if her father was still at her back. Mistake, he was upon her, his machete raised high to strike.
Dorothy fell to the ground out of shock and covered her head with two crossed hands as she waited for her father to hit her. He didn’t; she woke up screaming.
Her husband, Chimezie, woke up and held her.
“What’s wrong? Did you have a nightmare?” He asked, stroking her back.
Dorothy sighed and turned to him.
“My father tried to kill me.”
“Wow. Did he say why?”
“He didn’t say a word. He just kept chasing me with this big knife; I woke up before he struck. My dad of all people?”
“Don’t think too deep; It is well. We will pray about it; God is in control.”
They prayed and went back to sleep.
Dorothy lay on a beach. The water was clear and green, and lush vegetation surrounded the land. She was lying on the sand in her bikini’s and wearing sunshades, under an umbrella.
She was the only person on the beach and loved it. It gave her pause, though. How did she get there, but she pushed the thought away. She wanted to rest after a harrowing work week. God heard her prayer, and she was where she needed to be.
Dorothy fell asleep again, content with basking in the shadowed sunlight. A little while later, a series of events occurred that woke her up. She heard a loud hiss in her ear, then the slide of wet slippery skin on her. Her body shuddered at the contact, and she woke up.
She looked around and saw nothing for a while. Thinking she imagined all she heard and felt, she closed her eyes to sleep again when she heard the hiss from above her. She sat up and turned to check what it was, fearful thoughts filling her mind because she could already guess.
Behind her lay a green Mamba, set to strike with its fangs open. Dorothy screamed and crossed her hands over her face again.
This time, when she woke up, she could not stop screaming. Her husband held her down and put his palm over her mouth. After a while, she stopped crying, but the crazed look did not leave her eyes. She kept looking around the room for any signs of green, snake, or both. Her husband held her till she quietened down enough to tell her story.
“This is getting out of hand — first, your father, now a Mamba. Let me call the Pastor. I am anxious about this.” Her husband said, getting out of bed.
“Wait, it’s two in the morning. Let us wait for the day to dawn before we disturb the man of God. Don’t worry; I’ll be fine. Let us pray again.”
They prayed a second time and lay back to sleep. This time, Dorothy did not sleep at once; she hoped her husband would fall asleep, to hide the fact that she was too scared to drift off again.
She pondered over the meaning of her dreams. All she wanted to do was rest after a stressful week at work, but all she got were death dreams. Were they premonitions of her death or loss? She prayed in her heart, asking God for help and mercy. Dorothy fell asleep, still praying.
Dorothy was walking deep into a cave, or so it looked. The walls were rough and hewn out of the earth. There were stacks of firewood stuck inside the earthen walls on the left and the right to give the place light. Once again, she was the only one walking along the path. Straight ahead, she saw closed doors.
Dorothy hurried to them, eager to see what lay behind. She stopped at the door, wary. Out of nowhere, she remembered the dreams she had earlier and shrank back.
What if this was another horror-filled adventure?
“Come in, daughter.” A voice said from behind the door. “Do not fear.”
Dorothy hesitated a little, then pushed the knob-less wooden doors in, opening them. She stepped into a big and empty room. In it, she searched for the man, who had called to her.
“Where are you?” She asked
“Here, in front of you.” He said
Dorothy looked straight ahead and saw a figure on a chair that looked like a throne.
“Come forward, do not be afraid.”
Dorothy walked forward for a while till it dawned on her that the man on the throne still looked far away. She did not understand how that could be, the room did not seem that big.
“Am I too far from you?” He asked
“Well, it does seem to take quite a distance to get to you.” She said, laughing.
He laughed. “It’s because that’s what you believe.”
“Pardon?” She said as she stopped walking.
Dorothy stepped back in shock when the man and his throne materialized before her in an instant.
“I am near to those who seek me with all their heart.” He said, smiling.
“That sounds like what God would say,” Dorothy said.
“A pleasure to meet with you.” The man said.
Dorothy’s mouth hung open.
“Are you saying…?” She said and covered her mouth with her hand.
“Yes, and you are here for some clarification.” He said and smiled again.
Dorothy remained quiet, unable to speak.
“You are looking for rest, daughter, in all the wrong places. Sleep does not give rest. Your family will not give you rest, and the exotic locations you wish to escape to, do not also have the peace you need. I am rest; I am the peace you seek.”
“But I believe in God and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Dorothy said.
“So, you say, but do you have peace? Are you not always worried about food for the house, money for survival, and making other people accept and love you?”
“Shouldn’t I be worrying about those things? I am a responsible parent and adult, after all.” She said.
“Yes, but the unbelievers live the same way. How are you different from them? He asked.
“I…” Dorothy stopped, searching for something to say. Nothing surfaced in her mind to counter what he said.
“Seek first, the kingdom and God’s righteousness, Dorothy, and all else would be added.”
“I don’t understand.” She said
“Trust in God, and only then will you find true rest for your soul. Stop carrying your burdens and drop them at the feet of Jesus. God created you for more than just survival. He gave you life, the life of a priest and king on the earth in Christ, wake up.”
Dorothy nodded, lost in thought.
“Is that what Jesus was telling Martha about Mary’s choice?” She asked
“How do I live such a life?” She asked again, as she noticed the man, his throne, and the cave crumbling.
“Ask, seek, and knock; find rest for your soul, Dorothy, my daughter.” The man whispered as he vanished, and Dorothy woke up.
She lay still for a while as she meditated on her dreams. She understood the message and knew who the man signified. Dorothy woke her husband up and asked him to pray with her. The prayer started new things in their lives, but above all, Dorothy found rest for her soul.